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The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the IT Galaxy and Beyond
Don't Panic



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Troy DuMoulin, VP, Research & Development

Troy is a leading ITIL®, IT Governance & Lean IT authority with a solid and rich background in Executive IT Management consulting. Troy holds the ITIL Service Manager and Expert certifications and has extensive experience in leading IT Service Management (ITSM) programs with a regional and global scope.

He is a frequent speaker at IT Management events and is a contributing author to multiple ITSM and Lean IT books, papers and official ITIL publications including ITIL’s Planning To Implement IT Service Management and Continual Service Improvement.


The Guide

"This blog is dedicated to making sense out of the shifting landscape of IT Management. Just when we thought we had a good handle on managing technology, the job we thought we knew is being threatened by strange acronyms like ITIL, Lean, Agile, DevOps, CMMI, COBIT, ect.. Suddenly the rules have changed and we are not sure why. The goal of this blog is to offer an element of sanity and logic to what can appear to be chaos."

Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy

"In many of the more relaxed civilizations on the Outer Eastern Rim of the Galaxy, the Hitch Hiker’s Guide has already supplanted the great Encyclopedia Galactic as the standard repository of all knowledge and wisdom, for though it has many omissions and contains much that is apocryphal, or at least wildly inaccurate, it scores over the older more pedestrian work in two important respects.

First, it is slightly cheaper: and secondly it has the words DON’T PANIC inscribed in large friendly letters on its cover."
~Douglas Adams


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IT Service Management Evolved

“If the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, the end is near.” ~Jack Welch

The principle of entropy teaches us that all human systems decay over time unless new energy and direction is applied to ensure that they stay relevant and meaningful. This is equally true of the service management processes we have all known and appreciated for the past 20 years. However during that period of time ITIL® has not been static, in fact we have seen at least 2 major shifts in context, scope and positioning of the library of books we reference for good IT Service Management practices. Those of you who have been around long enough will remember that ITIL’s 1st major change occurred when the framework evolved from a series of independent books on discreet subjects to the ITIL v2 model of two core books called Service Delivery & Service Support. Many of us look back on this period as the good old days when IT Value delivery could be described as 10 easy to understand processes related primarily to service operation.

The 2nd major shift and perhaps the most profound occurred in 1997 when ITIL® v3 emerged with a shift away from Technology Management to a focus on Service Management and added another 16 so called new processes making the total 26. Of course new is a relative term in the sense of when Christopher Columbus discovered the so-called new world how new was it? What really changed was not the world but our understanding of the scope and context of what the world entailed. In 2011 there was a new edition published with some refinements made to each of the lifecycle books but I would suggest that the 2011 edition was more about continual improvement then a radical shift in approach.

Now in 2016-2017 we are seeing a 3rd major shift towards what many of are calling Agile Service Management. This new evolution is being driven by the growing rate and speed of business demand and our industry’s inability to scale and respond fast enough based on the current state of technical complexity and fragmented processes. The business pressure being generated by this in-balance is creating huge interest in activities related to process simplification, standardization and automation. These conversations are all leading towards the question of how do we go faster while managing risk? The answers to these questions are addressed in the IT management subject areas I like to call the accelerators focused on practices related to Lean, Agile and DevOps.

The industry focus on these topics of acceleration is evident across the entire IT ecosystem; whether you see it in the articles published on Tech news sites, vendor product marketing pitches or the primary themes of our industry conferences.

What we are indeed seeing is the 3rd major evolution of IT Service Management to what many are calling the quest for “Fast Flow”.  The outcome of this 3rd major shift is the review of our classic ITIL Strategy, Design, Transition and Service Operation processes in the context of how they can be accelerated and de-centralized to support the emerging practices of Agile and DevOps teaming structures.

Speaking of conferences Pink Elephant was very pleased to have hosted our 21st Annual conference two weeks ago and all of these trends were visible in session after session.

One session which caught my eye was a session conveniently titled:

Communicate. Connect. Change. Service Management Evolved –
Presented by Christopher Kuhn the Chief Operations officer from OTRS.

Link To OTRS Website

It was obvious from this session that Christopher and I are singing from the same song sheet as he addressed the need for ITSM processes to become more nimble and be reviewed from a first principles perspective vs. implemented in a theoretical ITIL by the book approach.

From his session Christopher listed typical implementation errors that result from a rigid and uniformed application of just enough ITIL theory to be dangerous. Some of those errors included:

  • Un-flexible processes primarily focused on risk reduction vs. balancing the need to increase speed of value creation while managing risk
  • Processes being driven by tool design vs. business needs
  • Idealistic process documentation reflecting theory over practical application
  • Process definition derived from the ITIL Bible without taking into consideration the context of the company needs and objectives
  • Processes implemented as isolated silos

It was great to see OTRS as a tool vendor communicating this same message and calling for the need to re-examine how we do work and deliver value. What we all agree on is that it is time to evolve Service Management once again to align with the industry’s need to accelerate our IT Service Delivery capability to enable our business customer’s to respond quickly to market changes. By dong so we as IT Service Providers continue to remain relevant and focused on customer value.

Troy’s and Christopher’s Thoughts What Are Yours?

“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” ~Jimmy Dean


Posted by Troy DuMoulin on 03/29 at 10:09 AM






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